30 Incredible Examples of Urban Decay Photography

By / Feb 10, 2010 / Inspiration
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During the lifespan of a city, certain events take place that cause buildings and areas to become abandoned. With nobody around to provide upkeep or maintenance on the structures of these areas, things begin to fall into disrepair. This is known as urban decay. At first glance, these decrepit environments may seem hopeless. However, through the lens of a camera, a talented photographer can reveal beauty in the most unlikely of places.

Here are 30 incredible examples of urban decay photography. These photos are a great source of inspiration and possess many impressive qualities, including an abundance of interesting textures.

Make sure you click on each photo to see a larger version and learn more about each of the talented photographers behind the cameras.

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

urban decay photography

About the Author

Henry Jones is a web developer, designer, and entrepreneur with over 14 years of experience. He is the founder of WDL and ThemeTrust.

40 Comments

  1. Dakshina
    February 10, 2010

    This is awesome!!!!

    Reply
  2. Webdesign Rosenheim
    February 10, 2010

    Wow!
    Very nice collection!
    I like the one with the chalkboard the most!

    Thanks for sharing

    Reply
  3. Dimi
    February 10, 2010

    That is some truly beautiful shots, thanks for putting this post together!

    Reply
  4. Don
    February 10, 2010

    Seeing many of this type of photo together shows me how gorgeous they can be. One every now and then I have easily glossed over. I need to try this, thank you!

    Reply
  5. insic
    February 10, 2010

    Beautiful images.

    Reply
  6. Amit
    February 10, 2010

    brilliant composition in all the pics..amazing perspective,unusual place.. lovely contrast in the 10th pic..

    Reply
  7. simon
    February 10, 2010

    too much hdr in my opinion

    Reply
    • Jesse
      February 10, 2010

      Yep. Way too much HDR.

      Reply
      • Bradley L. Garrett
        February 11, 2010

        I agree. Nice images but we are overloaded with dereliction in HDR.

        Reply
        • Kristen
          February 12, 2010

          I’m sure the locations are amazing without the HDR. Its unnecessary, looks ridiculous and way too overused.

          Reply
          • mdz
            February 27, 2010

            I agree, too much HDR. I would much rather see shots with less post-processing. I’m not sure some of the didn’t have additional textures and ‘vintage’ type filters put on to enhance the decayed look. Which is fine, except I was expecting to see real urban decay, not imaginary one.

  8. julio Rivera
    February 10, 2010

    beautiful images

    Reply
  9. Jordan Walker
    February 10, 2010

    Bring on the grunge!

    Reply
  10. Lara
    February 10, 2010

    These are so inspiring! I love urban decay photos!

    Reply
  11. Kae
    February 10, 2010

    Amazing pictures! Great shots : )

    Reply
  12. jkiel
    February 10, 2010

    Thanks for sharing – I love ratty old buildings, love to shoot them, love to look at them…

    Reply
  13. Chris Luckhardt
    February 10, 2010

    Some fine photography, but I agree with some of the other comments – too much HDR. I’ve done a bit of that, but try not to go too overboard with it. I run an urban exploration group; here are a few of my pics.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/motionblur/2420604302/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/motionblur/2730163008/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/motionblur/3289108633/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/motionblur/450393734/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/motionblur/2417576067/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/motionblur/2824024265
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/motionblur/2978874235
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/motionblur/3217497036/

    Reply
    • Imee
      February 13, 2010

      Pretty good shots you got here. I especially like the one captioned Cargill Blues.

      Reply
  14. Rufhausen
    February 10, 2010

    The HDR is way over the top. I’d prefer more naturally looking photos.

    Reply
  15. Randy Little
    February 11, 2010

    They are no longer photo’s once you have ADDED lighting elements that didn’t exist and shouldn’t be labeled as such. they are very nice Illustrations that use photography and they are beautiful What they are not is any kind of truth about the locations.

    Reply
  16. Michele
    February 11, 2010

    These are absolutely stunning! An inspiration!

    Reply
  17. Imee
    February 13, 2010

    Astounding… I’m a big fan of when something not so good is turned into something beautiful. These can be great for high fashion photoshoots and even album inserts :]

    Reply
  18. David
    February 22, 2010

    These examples are utterly stunning. I have a real passion for urban decay photography although none of my photos come even close. http://www.flixelpix.com/?s=barbour inspirational, the school photo is my favourite.

    Reply
  19. Dorothy Melvin
    February 27, 2010

    Fantastic!

    I would like also to recomend this brazilian website specialized in show pictures of decay places in Sao Paulo, largest brazilian city:

    http://www.saopauloabandonada.com.br

    Unfortunately is in portuguese only yet, but photos are universal language, right ? ;-)

    Reply
  20. Zeroy
    February 27, 2010

    Nice pics!!!

    Reply
  21. charmdeyes
    February 27, 2010

    Thank you, really beautiful, like standing
    still in time.

    Reply
  22. GeoTrouvetout
    March 3, 2010

    Some of my humble photographies on the same topic:
    http://picasaweb.google.com/seb.geotrouvetout/Friches_industrielles?feat=directlink

    A friend of mine’s:
    http://www.gazolina-artline.com/christophe-livonnen/archives/abandon

    Reply
  23. jmleclercq
    April 4, 2010

    Great collection !
    Jean-Michel

    Reply
  24. pixeltarian
    April 12, 2010

    are you should this shouldn’t be called “30 decent HDR photos” ???

    I would very much like to see natural shots of these photos. HDR always looks like the latest 3D video game. can’t stand it really.

    Reply
  25. Thomas
    May 18, 2010

    Like a lot. Looks ancient and urban.

    Reply
  26. Abigail Pereira
    May 25, 2010

    i love ALL the pics .. :)
    and thanks for post this … its realy an inspiration :’)

    Reply
  27. Buzz
    July 2, 2010

    Pretty good shots you got here. I especially like the one captioned Cargill Blues.

    Reply
  28. TwitterBackgrounds
    July 23, 2010

    Love the photos :) They are stunning. Who knew that decay could be that beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  29. Julie
    July 26, 2010

    Amazing! Who are the photographers?

    Reply
  30. Ruby Lee
    September 18, 2010

    can only repeat what others have said – this is a beautiful collection of imagery

    Reply
  31. c
    September 29, 2010

    HDR!!!!!! all look enhanced, to the point of cliche.

    Reply
  32. Matt Sandy
    November 12, 2010

    Definitely some amazing photos, but I think for these the really amazing part is the post work done on them. I especially love the one with the couches.

    Reply
  33. Francisco Costa
    May 19, 2011

    Very Nice!

    Reply
  34. Jahangir
    July 30, 2011

    Grungy effects are the quality of these urban photographs.

    Reply
  35. Mark – Devon Wedding Photographer
    December 6, 2011

    There are some amazing photographers out there. I stick to weddings and portraits and really can’t do architectural stuff justice but these are wonderful to look at. The composition, use of light and post production are rocking. I’m just trying to figure using locations like this and putting a beautiful bride in, would look pretty cool.

    Reply

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